Opens: July 31, 2009
Website: Official Funny People site
Starring: Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman
My Review: Funny People is the latest creation from The 40-Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up writer/director Judd Apatow, and it tells the story of a man who reevaluates his life after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Oh, the hilari…wait, what?
Taking a small step outside of the comfort zone that are his adult-themed comedies, Apatow seems to be making an attempt for the often tricky to get right comedy-drama. Joining the group of usual Apatow suspects (Rogen, Mann, and Hill) is Adam Sandler playing a comedian who believes his time on earth is limited. So in an attempt to reexamine his life’s priorities, he becomes a mentor for a younger, more inexperienced comedian (Rogen) and decides to make a play for “the one who got away,” who also happens to be married to a somewhat angry Australian.
Since this is an Apatow film, after all, I’m willing to bet that the balance between the serious and the funny will be handled well. Both The 40-Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up were marketed as straight-up comedies, but both turned out to be rather touching as well as fall-down funny. Even Rogen himself recently admitted to Entertainment Weekly magazine that he thinks Apatow may have intended to make a more serious film, but “in the end, we’re all chicken. We just want to get laughs.”
Would I Pay For It?: While I can be a movie snob at times (or at least pretend to be when I don’t want people to know that I’ve seen Under the Tuscan Sun 30 times), I’ve pretty much loved everything Apatow & Co. have written, directed, starred in, touched, caressed, made love to, etc. So yeah, I’ll probably cough up the cash to actually see this in the theater. Seeing Jason Schwartzman’s crazy eyebrows on the big screen will be worth the price of admission alone.